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Wessex Internet guns for £10 million rural broadband fund

Hampshire-based Wessex Internet looks set to bid for a portion of the government new £10 million fund aimed at boosting internet speeds to the last five per cent of the country with poor broadband connectivity.

The ISP is being encouraged to apply for funding from the recently announced Competitive Fund by Superfast Dorset, the public-private partnership between Dorset County Council and BT.

According to reports by Blackmore Vale Magazine, Superfast Dorset Project Lead Dugald Lockhart said that the council would support bidding for any additional funds to  help areas that are not going to be served by the superfast broadband roll-out in the county.

Lockhart said that the Competitive Fund would be the first opportunity for smaller providers to access funding for broadband.

“At last there appears to be a way a business like ours can get some backing to help complement the DCC and BT programme,” Andrew Skipsey, of Wessex Internet told the publication. “This is fantastic news for rural communities in Dorset that were starting to feel neglected.”

Lockhart said the planning stage for the rollout of fibre in the county was virtually complete with upgrades to fibre in Weymouth, Bridport, Verwood and Ferndown areas coming first. Areas in North Dorset would come later.

Wessex Internet’s fixed wireless offering could be used to overcome difficulties in upgrading rural parts of North Dorset and West Wilshire. Funding would enable these areas to benefit from “Fibre to the Mast” that would give end users connection speeds of 30Mbps.

Image: Geograph/Nigel Mykura

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